New View of Shellfish Aquaculture and Eelgrass Interactions

TNC video screen captureThe Nature Conservancy (TNC) is working with Hog Island Oyster Company and the University of California Santa Cruz to assess the interactions between oyster aquaculture and eelgrass in Tomales Bay, California. The use of drones may help with these studies, and the validation of such aerial surveys could be highly valuable in both their perspective and economy (as this approach could be much less expensive than conventional side-scan sonar or diver-based methods). This TNC-produced video captures the study site and plan beautifully. The Tomales Bay studies are just beginning, so stay tuned to further developments and discussion.

Upcoming Funding Opportunity -Macroalgae Cultivation

The Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA–E) intends to issue a new Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) in November, 2016, for the development of cultivation technologies benefiting the production of macroalgal-biomass (seaweeds) in the ocean. These technologies are expected to be deployed and support cultivation of macroalgal-biomass for the production of commodity fuels and chemicals. The primary challenge is to dramatically reduce capital and operating cost of macroalgae cultivation, while significantly increasing the range of deployment by expanding into off-shore environments.

The Teaming Partner List is being compiled to facilitate the formation of new project teams. ARPA-E intends to make the Teaming Partner List available on ARPA–E eXCHANGE (http://ARPA–E-foa.energy.gov), ARPA–E’s online application portal, in September 2016. Once posted, the Teaming Partner List will be updated periodically, until the close of the Full Application period, to reflect new Teaming Partners who have provided their information.

Read more below from the ARPA announcement.

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2017 Saltonstall-Kennedy Grant Town Hall Webinar – August 30th

NOAA is hosting a new webinar to share more information about this year’s Saltonstall-Kennedy Grant process. This webinar will discuss the grant application process, including the mandatory pre-proposal process in advance of a full proposal submission.

Date and Time: Tuesday, August 30, 2016 3:00 pm EDT

Call-in and webinar details, along with more information about the SK Grant, can be found at NOAA’s Website.

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The Working Waterfront – American Aquaculture in the 21st Century

The USA contributes only 1% of the 100 billion dollar worldwide aquaculture industry and meanwhile imports nearly 90% of the seafood consumed here. There is a real opportunity for increased development of sustainable aquaculture that can feed and support our communities. Living Ocean Productions presents a detailed look at the success stories from around the country, and the possibilities available if we continue to explore the potential for aquaculture industry growth.

Meet the farmers growing & harvesting catfish, salmon, oyster, and mussels, and learn about their dedication to environmental sustainability, community engagement, and high quality products.

What does it take to operate an offshore fish farm?

A company in Australia is working to find out just that. Indian Ocean Fresh Australia has been working with the Mid West Development Commission to build a commercially viable and environmentally responsible offshore finfish industry off the west coast of Australia. Through supported research, they’ve been able to grow out 15,000 Yellowtail Kingfish to harvest and send to market.

In the past, their predecessors in a similar project failed due to issues with disease. This new venture is making fish health a top priority and has established a proactive monitoring system, with frequent blood tests & dissections to insure a standard of high health. So far, the results of this experiment have been encouraging; the fish are healthy, and according to feedback from local restaurants, of high quality and good taste.

The challenges for offshore aquaculture are many, both in protecting the natural environment and creating an economically viable, high-quality product. This venture is a great step in understanding the different challenges and actively finding solutions to create a more sustainable future.

Watch the video below to get a taste of their offshore farm, and read more here.

Farm fish harvest in Geraldton from Chris Lewis | ABC Midwest on Vimeo.

Fish Story from the Aquarium of the Pacific

Dr. Jerry Schubel, president of the Aquarium of the Pacific, shares their vision for a healthy future in “Fish Story”.  This video explores the potential of offshore marine aquaculture in the United States and its implications for ocean conservation, human health, and economic development.

Learn more about the Aquarium of the Pacific’s dedication to sustainable seafood and healthy oceans on their blog Sea Food Future.